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Khorasaurus

Fifth-Third Ballpark

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Our minor league ballpark is a nice place to spend an evening, but its basically the same as every other park across the nation. Also, the location is abysmal. It's sandwiched between 131 and the river, but it doesn't use the water at all. Plus, with absolutely nothing near it and no options to get to it other than a car, traffic, even for a lightly attended game, is awful.

Clearly, the park is in good enough shape to be around for a while, but in 10-15 years I can see people talking about a replacement. So my question is, where would a new ballpark go and how would that be achieved?

My pet location would be on the west side, between Bridge Street and GVSU...that area is mostly parking lots right now. I don't know if the park could be sandwiched between the railroad tracks and 131, but if it could that would be ideal. I think this location would have several advantages:

1) There's plenty of space...from what I can tell. The parking lost could be replaced with garages, including one north of Bridge near the tracks, maybe.

2) The baseball crowds could do for Stockbridge what the Arena crowds do for Heartside.

3)The skyline view. If center field was along Mt. Vernon north of pearl, the view from foul pole to foul pole would be Bridgewater/Riverhouse, Medical Mile, Amway/Marriott/Plaza Towers, and then GVSU.

Obviously, this is just a fun brainstorming session, since nothing's going to happen for a while since 5/3 is just fine for the Whitecaps right now, but where would you guys put a new ballpark?

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It will be replaced with a new one, 5 miles further north, so they can have more parking, and be near the new 8-lane North Beltline.

West Michigan development isnt exactly known for good ideas, so dont expect a west-side ballpark in this century.

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Ok downtown, but not on the river anywhere.

It seems the current suburban location is symbolic as it's West Michigan's team. I've never really considered it a Grand Rapids team, but a suburban one. What would be great is another single A team for a good cross-town rivalry. It would have to be a city team, the ball park wouldn't have to be downtown though.

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Our minor league ballpark is a nice place to spend an evening, but its basically the same as every other park across the nation. Also, the location is abysmal. It's sandwiched between 131 and the river, but it doesn't use the water at all. Plus, with absolutely nothing near it and no options to get to it other than a car, traffic, even for a lightly attended game, is awful.

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Actually, the park can be reached from downtown and from the north via the White Pine Trail.

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Personally, I think the stadium is very nice, parking is more than adequate, location is fine and traffic has never been a problem. I do think it would be great to get a higher level than single A. Even then, I would think a downtown location would be cost prohibitive for the owners and fans for minor league ball.

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Personally, I think the stadium is very nice, parking is more than adequate, location is fine and traffic has never been a problem. I do think it would be great to get a higher level than single A. Even then, I would think a downtown location would be cost prohibitive for the owners and fans for minor league ball.

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And once you get above a certain sized sports stadium, they actually tend to create large "dead zones" in downtown areas.

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How do you mean? Dead zone from all of the parking and such around the stadium?

Denver's baseball stadium is right downtown. I didn't notice too much of a dead zone around it. Although I wasn't really looking for one at the time.

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I've been to more than a few concerts @ Comerica Park :dontknow: it's one of my favorite concert venues

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Dad is right in some respects, but having visited 20+ of the 30-some major league parks (and a boatload of minor league venues) what really works best is grouping of sports venues. Comerica/Ford Field-Safeco/Seahawks-DBacks/Suns-Pirates/Steelers... etc.etc. Resturants and Sports Bars owners tend to like and invest in more steady traffic thoughout the year.

Obviously if you can get them in a downtown location you have the best situation. Of the doubled-up locations that are hideous because they are little more than the Fifth-Third deal are K.C. and the Rangers/Cowboys, out in the sticks and held hostage by the ballclubs if you want a bite and a beer.

I always though Coors Field was a nice setup in that it was essentally downtown (or at least for the most part served by the transportation system) and the area infrastructure is an "entertainment" district (plus, before they put in the ballpark, there wasn't a whole lot else going on in LoDo... better something than nothing) Also, New Mile-High (or whatever their calling it these days) and the hoops gym are not too far away either. I think they share overflow parking.

As for Fifth-Third, it hasn't been around that long has it?

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What would be great is another single A team for a good cross-town rivalry.

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It would be nice if more people took advantage of this, but they really don't. I think the problem is that the Caps don't advertise "ride your bike to the game" or really have anywhere for people to lock their bikes...also not everyone with a bike is serious or fit enough to ride all the way from Rockford or Downtown.

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I think the Whitecaps would most definitely benefit (as would the surrounding neighborhood) from a move closer to the center of the city. I think Oldsmobile Park in Lansing is a great example, for a minor league stadium, of how to integrate a stadium into the heart of the city without creating a 'dead zone' around it. The stadium, in the off season, has been used as an ice-skating rink, a Halloween haunted house, an open-air movie theater, and outdoor concert venue, among other things, and unlike a lot of stadiums have actually created a good deal of development spin-off. It did all of this without having to tear down entire neighborhoods around it for parking. People simply have to be more creative when they come downtown concerning where they park, and are forced to walk a few blocks to get to the stadium.

It would seem that a move to the near-westside would be a positive for the team and the city.

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Yikes! The 'Caps draw well, but they're not selling out every night. Lansing is a close enough rival.

I like the idea of expanding higher better. If Toledo can handle AAA ball, we should be able to do the same. (Heck, Grand Rapids was an original choice for the American League in 1901, but lost out to Cleveland due to deal-making.)

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Dad is right in some respects, but having visited 20+ of the 30-some major league parks (and a boatload of minor league venues) what really works best is grouping of sports venues. Comerica/Ford Field-Safeco/Seahawks-DBacks/Suns-Pirates/Steelers... etc.etc. Resturants and Sports Bars owners tend to like and invest in more steady traffic thoughout the year.

Obviously if you can get them in a downtown location you have the best situation. Of the doubled-up locations that are hideous because they are little more than the Fifth-Third deal are K.C. and the Rangers/Cowboys, out in the sticks and held hostage by the ballclubs if you want a bite and a beer.

I always though Coors Field was a nice setup in that it was essentally downtown (or at least for the most part served by the transportation system) and the area infrastructure is an "entertainment" district (plus, before they put in the ballpark, there wasn't a whole lot else going on in LoDo... better something than nothing) Also, New Mile-High (or whatever their calling it these days) and the hoops gym are not too far away either. I think they share overflow parking.

As for Fifth-Third, it hasn't been around that long has it?

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I think it would work well at the Southwest corner of Market & Fulton. It would greatly increase the weeknight foot traffic throughout downtown and utilze parking already available if scheduling is coordinated with the VAA. Imagine the views from eastbank, the BOB, the skyway. Also if they could incorporate year round restaurants , such as charlies crab and other local restaurants that would really be cool.

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If anything 5/3 park is fine. Traffic in and out of the park is problematic. Fix that and the park would be good as gold.

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If anything 5/3 park is fine. Traffic in and out of the park is problematic. Fix that and the park would be good as gold.

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